Growing from Seed-PBS TOW

Wed, 20 Nov 2002 23:31:41 PST
Hi Mary Sue and all,
I'm a bit slow off the mark responding to this due to work commitments but
here goes

I've enjoyed reading all the responses so far and the different techniques

I live in Gippsland, Victoria in Oz and my climate is very similar to SA and
we have the same seasons which helps.

I start all of my seeds under  a cover which consists of a fibre glass roof
with open sides -  and one with shade cloth sides. Both provide light,  good
air flow and protection from our frosts in winter if needed. This way I
control watering and protection from heavy rains. I get good results with
this process and most species flower well in this system. The Ixia scillaris
seed I got to germinate in one season did so in these conditions, which I
talked about in an earlier posting.

I use 4 inch pots to start off and leave seeds in these for two years, will
pot up to a larger size as required or move out into garden space if I need

My potting mix consists of a good quality seed raising mix, mixed with sand
and a little added blood and bone. I will use more sand sometimes depending
on the species and sometimes straight potting mix when I pot on.

I do not use any other fertiliser at all.

I use the flotation method for any kind of winged seed and wait until they
have produced roots and shoots before potting on. I find this gives me
better germination results with this method. I have an article written on
the flotation principle published on the IBS site and also on my Ixia page
somewhere if anyone is interested in trying this method. See links below in
my signature.

If unsure about planting depth I usually cover seed lightly with sieved
sand.  Very fine seed is usually placed on top and carefully watered in. I
always bottom water my pots until the seed have established and then I use a
very fine spray mist  system which I set up using poly tubing and a fine
mist spray.

It is important that you do not let your pots dry out as this will cause

I do not have the time nor the capacity to store up rain water so I just use
tap water but I would if I could.

I never throw pots away if they don't germinate the first year as often they
will germinate in the following season. This will often depend on how old
the seed is when you get it and this will definitely affect germination

All seed is different. . I collected seed in Queensland of a Canna and found
it in a drawer five years later. I planted them out and got 100% germination
and they are flowering in my garden at present.

What I feel is important is good air flow, watering techniques, adequate
and also keeping good records of what special techniques you use.

Hope this helps.
Good Growing.

Bill Richardson
8-30 c. Lovely days of Spring. Water restrictions here.
Ixia site http//
Suite 101 site http//

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